Reps, APC condemn thugs invasion of Senate

Abdullahi and Ologbondiyan

…..PDP blames President Buhari, APC for attack

 

By Kemi Yesufu

 

Abuja

 

The House of Representatives on Wednesday condemned the invasion of the Senate by thugs,  who took away the mace.

 

Members of the Green Chamber described the scandalous incident as an attack on Nigeria’s democracy.

 

The House in adopting  a motion of urgent national importance, raised by Majority  Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to recover the mace within 24 hours.

 

 

In his lead debate, Gbajabiamila said Wednesday’s attack was a threat to Nigeria’s democracy, this as he expressed dissatisfaction over

Chaotic Scenes following the escape of thugs with mace belonging to the Senate

the poor level of security in the National Assembly Complex.

 

“In the light of the  ugly event that took place in the Senate chamber, we join them our colleagues in solidarity. We are sitting ducks

 

“I must however state that this complex is too porous, there is laxity in the security around here and you would be surprised at what you see on the corridors…. hawkers….. It is so bad that I am sure the National Assembly administration does not even know the number of workers it has. There is an urgent need for security to be beefed up so as to forestall attacks like this”, the lawmaker said.

 

Speaking in support of the motion, Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, Rep Bode Ayorinde,

Rep. Gabriel Onyewuife described the incident as appalling and worrisome.

 

The members opined that the attack on the legislature amounts to a total collapse of the Democratic system.

 

“We always say the National Assembly is under attack; attack on our operations, on our decisions, attack on our functions as an arm of government but today’s attack in the Senate takes it to a different level. It is now physical attacks; this institution has been eroded for too long.

 

“As representatives of the people, we must start to engage our people more by telling them that if we lose the National Assembly, we lose our democracy; our freedom and rights will be taken from us; we will be taken back to the dark days of tyranny and importantly, Nigerians will lose our ability to choose our leaders and those who will speak for them”, Ukeje stressed.

 

Another member, Rep. Ahman Pategi argued that the attack could not have been carried out without the connivance of security agencies.

 

“I don’t want to believe that it is things that came into the chamber. This is a planned work done in conjunction with security arms of government. This is the three arms zone and is the most secured part how this can happen is baffling. It must have been in conjunction with the security arm of government”.

 

In adopting the motion, the House also ordered an investigation into the incident, even as it called for a total overhaul of the security in the complex.

 

Earlier, Deputy Speaker Lasun Yussuff who presided over Wednesday plenary, led members of the House on a solidarity visit to the Senate.

 

…..Attack a desecration of legislature -APC

 

Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi condemned the attack, saying it was “as an attack on our democracy and a desecration of the hallowed institution of the National Assembly”.

 

“We therefore call on security agencies to take all necessary actions to recover the stolen mace and ensure that the perpetrators and their sponsors are brought to justice”, the statement read.

 

Suspended Delta State lawmaker, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who the Senate spokesman, Aliyu Sabi accused of organising the snatching of the mace is a member of the APC. He defected from the Labour Party to join the majority party in the National Assembly.

The party was however silent on  Omo-Agege, who was arrested by the police in the National Assembly Complex, after attending plenary, despite being on suspension. The lawmaker belongs to the pro-Buhari group which voiced its opposition to the re-scheduling of the 2019 elections.

…..PDP Decries Invasion of Senate…Accuses APC, Presidency

But in a swift reaction, the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), blamed the incident on the APC and the presidency.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, elected under the PDP presided over Wednesday’s plenary during which the invasion occurred.

“We note that this offensive has been emboldened by series of interferences and direct attacks by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Buhari Presidency on the institution of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate.

“The APC has foisted on our nation an irredeemable autocracy, which has in three years of governance, gone beyond limits to force Nigerians to accept a government that has no respect for freedom and the ideals of democracy, particularly the constitutional separation of powers.

“Is it not strange that a legislative day appointed to further deliberate on the re-ordering of sequence of election will be the day that strange elements would invade the National Assembly, particularly, the hallowed chambers of the Senate,  to disrupt legislative proceeding and seize the mace? Equally strange is the compromising of security in the National Assembly paving the way for the invasion”, the PDP said in a statement its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.

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